Author: hmir3

Additional Resources for Families During the Summer

To our Families, 

Summer has finally arrived! We know that so many of you have taken on the tremendous task of changing your daily routines very quickly in a time of crisis, and serving as a strong support system for your loved ones. We want you to know that you are doing a great job and you are doing enough. As you continue to manage priorities and accommodate everyday moments during these times, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for the incredible job you are doing to maintain normalcy for your child and family during this time. 

To all the moms, dads, aunts, uncles, foster parents, grandparents and caregivers, you already have what it takes to help your child grow and flourish through this time, and we are here to support you. 

We are sharing opportunities with you that you may decide to try with your child. These activities are aimed to be fun and to promote learning, and help you locate useful services near you. 

Please pick and choose the activities and platforms that work for your family and for your child, and remember to take it slowly. This might mean doing one activity below or simply spending time with one another. As time goes on, you may be able to open yourself and your child to new activities and experiences. 

Note: These websites and apps have not been vetted for privacy or data security protocols by DOE or City of New York. 

NYC Programs and Services 

Get Tested in Your Community: The City of New York is working to expand testing for COVID-19 rapidly throughout the five boroughs. Check back regularly for more locations as testing sites continue to open. 

Organizations Near You that Support Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families: Explore this interactive map that lists community-based organizations dedicated to serving NYC’s linguistically and culturally diverse families. You can search by borough or zip code to get to know the agencies, advocacy groups, and youth organizations within your community. 

Get Adult and Family Mental Health Resources from the City: The Health Information Tool for Empowerment (HITE) provides a comprehensive list of no- or low-cost supports for physical and mental health supports:

NYC Well provides 24-hour hotlines in a wide variety of languages to support mental health, coping, and wellbeing. 

Family Resource Centers provide family resources across the state including counseling and group support. 

○ While many of the resources above are at no-cost for services with costs, New York State has issued an emergency regulation requiring insurance companies to waive deductibles, copayments (copays), or coinsurance for in-network telehealth visits, including mental health services. High-quality, low-cost and no-cost mental health services are also guaranteed for NYC Care members. New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance can click here to enroll in or call 646-NYC-Care (646-692-2273). 

Food Benefits for All NYC Public School Students: Pandemic EBT P-EBT is a program for families to buy food while students are learning from home. This resource shares that in NYC, every single public school student ages 3-21 is eligible, regardless of income or immigration status. Benefits will be issued automatically; there is no application or documentation required. 

Growing Up NYC: Growing Up NYC is a mobile-friendly website that makes it simple for families to learn about and access City programs, as well as services and activities available through government agencies and community partners in English and in Spanish. COVID-19 content and resources for families produced by DECE now appear on this page of the site. 

Digital and Hands-on Activities for Children 

Khan Academy Kids: Free, fun, educational app with thousands of activities and books for young children ages 2-7. 

Vooks: A streaming service for kids, where storybooks come to life. First month free. “Our mission is to make screen time better. Unlike traditional cartoons and movies, Vooks allows for children’s imaginations to engage; it encourages reading; it promotes attention and focus. By bringing storybooks to life, Vooks redefines what screen time can be.” 

Sesame Street: Lupita Nyong’o Loves Her Skin: Elmo talks with his good friend Lupita about skin. Skin comes in all different textures and shades of color. Elmo’s skin is very ticklish. Lupita’s skin is a beautiful brown color. Most of all, they talk about loving the skin you have. 

Dr. Gupta shows Elmo how to make a mask: Short video featuring Sesame Street’s Elmo and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, where Elmo learns how to make a homemade mask. 

Free Online Daily Art Classes for 3-6 year olds: Check out free online art instruction that’s just right for ages 3-6. Monday – Friday mornings at 10 a.m on Instagram Live with Wendy MacNaughton. 

Camp Noggin: Summer of 2020 will look a little different from other summers, and Noggin is welcoming families to a free, virtual day camp where kids become campers alongside the characters they love. Sign up for your free Noggin account through Noggin Cares, and be one of the first to know when Camp Noggin begins. 

Parenting Information / Supporting Children’s Learning 

Video on How To Talk to Kids About Race: This 3-minute video produced by The Atlantic offers guidance on different ways to approach racial conversations with children, and how to incorporate them into everyday life. “The worst conversation adults can have with kids about race is no conversation at all,” says author Jemar Tisby. “Talking to kids about race needs to happen early, often, and honestly.”

NPR Segment: Talking Race with Young Children: This 20 minute audio clip addresses how young children (birth to 5) understand race and its impact on their lives. It offers concrete strategies for talking to young children about current events and everyday moments. 

DOH Covid-19 Guidance for Neonatal/Infants: Covid-19 guidance for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and caring for newborns. 

HITN: Articles, printable playsheets, crafts, activities, and a series of LIVE forums with HITN’s educational Advisors as seen on Facebook or Instagram to help parents and caregivers navigate this challenging time with their young children. 

Let’s Learn, NYC! This collection of resources for children ages 3-8 supports the public television series Let’s Learn NYC!, a partnership between the WNET Group and the New York City Department of Education. The series is designed to supplement remote learning and includes foundational reading skills, literacy, science, and social studies. 

SEL Tips for this Moment: Six social and emotional learning (SEL) practices, from deep breathing to self-talk, that can help both parents and children deal with stress and anxiety. 

When A Child’s Emotions Spike, How Can A Parent Find Their Best Self? Steps parents can take to help their children strengthen emotional competence, using the RULER method: Recognize, Understand, Label, Express, Regulate. 

At-Home SEL Strategies for Early Childhood: A variety of at-home strategies to promote social emotional wellness. Can be filtered by grade level and duration. 

Fun with Feelings: Fun with Feelings cards are a playful way for you to help your child learn about and manage feelings together. This resource is now available for families to download and use at home! 

Age Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event: A resource to help families understand how children experience traumatic events, express their lingering distress, and how to restore balance to children’s and families’ lives. 

Talking is Teaching: Brought to you by Too Small To Fail at the Clinton Foundation. Resources for simple tips and ideas on talking, reading, and singing with young children during everyday moments. 

All the Way to K and Beyond: Activity posters for children ages birth-5 with easy, age-specific tips and activities to help prepare children for learning and school. 

Conversations that Matter: Talking to Children About Big World Issues: NAEYC statement on the importance of talking to children about what is happening in the world. Guidance on how to have these conversations so that children understand and have a stronger sense of safety. 

ReadyRosie: Healthy at Home With the growing impact of the COVID-19 virus, ReadyRosie developed this free toolkit as a resource to support families with information and resources for supporting the children in their care. 

Para Padres: Spanish-Language Resources for Families of Dual Language Learners provides research-based Spanish Language resources for families of children under 5 who are learning more than one language at home and school. 

COVID-19 Fact Sheets in 35 Languages: Harvard’s Health Literacy and Covid-19 Project have developed age-appropriate tip-sheets on COVID-19 in a wide variety of languages. 

Sparkler: Play for Parenting: Now FREE for NYC DOE Families! Sparkler: Play for Parenting is an app that offers play-based learning activities you can do with your child. Download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play. When you open the Sparkler app for the first time, create a new account. Next time, sign in using the method you picked. Use code 2-1-2-1 to register, which will give you access to Sparkler for free. Pick “Family” from the drop-down menu. Visit “Play” for ideas for off-screen play that grow your child’s heart, mind, body, and words. 

Ready4K: Free offering now extended! Ready4K is an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text messages. Each week, you’ll receive short text messages with fun facts and easy tips on how to promote your child’s development by building on existing family routines – like pointing out letters on the shampoo bottle during bath time and naming their sounds. To sign up text “NYC” to 70138. While there is absolutely no cost for enrolling, your regular data & message rates may apply for receiving ~3 messages per week. You can cancel text messages at any time by texting STOP to 70138. 

Why Are We All Stuck Inside? This kit offers fun activities that will get young children moving, creating, experimenting and even cleaning, while helping families answer tough questions about coronavirus. The kit is intended to be a jumping off point for your family’s creativity, so adjust for your kid’s personality and what you have on hand. 

NAEYC For Families: Research-based resources on child development, reading, writing, music, math, and more! Need a suggestion? Read 10 Prop Box Ideas: Mini Learning Centers at Home. 

Message in a Backpack articles from Teaching Young Children: Tips and ideas about supporting preschool age children’s learning at home. 

Family Last Day Letter

June 26, 2020 

Dear Families, 

Today is the last day of the most challenging, most intense school year many of us have ever experienced. I am humbled by your efforts and so proud of your children—our brilliant students. 

I know that last September feels like it was years ago, and that time in general seems to exist as “before COVID” and “after COVID.” It might be hard to remember, but before the pandemic upended our lives, we opened more pre-K Dual Language programs across the city, saw a record number of our students enrolling in college, and learned just how much our Community Schools have been changing students’ lives for the better—to name just a few of our accomplishments. All that still matters because it has real-life, positive impacts for our children. 

And then, all of a sudden, it was Monday, March 16, and the coronavirus forced us to reinvent the nation’s largest school system, closing all school buildings and transitioning our 1.1 million students to remote learning. To me, the “after COVID” time is as stunningly impressive as what came before. I know this because over the past three months I have seen your children complete science experiments in your kitchens, debate the United States Constitution in Spanish from your living rooms, and join band practice and master Shakespeare on Zoom. 

Your children accomplished these amazing feats all while the coronavirus was affecting you, your families, and your communities. Sadly, we lost immediate family members, and 79 Department of Education employees, to COVID-19. We will never be the same without the loved ones, friends, and colleagues who gave our lives and work meaning. We will never, ever forget a single one of them. They live on in our hearts, in our memories, and in our children. 

I’ve always said that parents and families are our most important partners, but this year that was truer than ever, as you became your child’s teacher, coach, and constant presence in an uncertain world. Your lives were upended in support of a totally unconventional schedule for your children. I know how much you sacrificed for them, how concerned you are about their futures, and how deep your love for them runs. I can’t thank you enough for the effort you have made to support your child’s learning at home. 

In recent weeks, you’ve kept the learning going as our city and nation have been enraged and have mourned the senseless loss of more Black lives at the hands of those whose duty it is to serve and protect. It has been a gut-wrenching time for all of us. Systemic racism endangers people of color in this country, period; and true change for New Yorkers of color must begin in our schools. 

I pledge that we will take what we have learned this year and double down on addressing systemic inequalities in our system that these crises have further exposed. This includes continuing to build a strong, inclusive, just, and anti-racist educational system. I pledge that we will keep cultivating and celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of your children. I pledge to continue to be there for you and your children, not being deterred for a moment—no matter what challenges come our way. Over the next several months, we will operate Summer School, Meal Hubs, Regional Enrichment Centers, and Emergency Child Care Centers to actively serve our families. I pledge to deliver the education your children demand and deserve—an education that enables them to grow into well-educated, responsible, compassionate adults who are equipped to change the world. 

I know you are rightfully anxious to know what that education will look like for your child this fall. We are working day in and day out to develop robust plans for the more than one million children who are in our seats. You will receive information in the coming weeks—including the date for the first day of school—once we receive the necessary guidance from the State and federal government that paves the way for us to finalize our plan. We also need your guidance, too! Please tell us what you want fall 2020 to look like by filling out our Return to School survey at by Tuesday, June 30. This will help us meet your needs as we come back to school. 

Given all we have been through together, we cannot end the school year without celebrating our students’ remarkable accomplishments. I invite you to join me; Mayor de Blasio; former NYC public school student and teacher, Lin-Manuel Miranda; and other celebrities, elected officials, and special guests on June 30 as we honor the Class of 2020 at a citywide graduation ceremony. You can watch it beginning at 7 p.m. on PIX 11 and at Please join us! 

And one more exciting development for our students: we are thrilled to make more e-books and audiobooks for all ages available for free this summer to all DOE families, and it’s easier than ever to access them. Just use your student’s DOE login; no special signup necessary. Summer reading is so important to keep learning going and to let imaginations run free, so please visit to find these amazing resources. If you received a DOE-issued iPad, it will automatically have the Sora app installed to access these texts—but you don’t need a DOE-issued device to use Sora. You can download the app on any device, use your student’s DOE login, and start reading. 

I have often said that we have the best students, staff, and families anywhere. This year, you have proved that true beyond any shadow of a doubt. You are helping us build a better world. We are grateful for you today and every day. 

Have a wonderful summer. We can’t wait to see you in September. 


Richard A. Carranza 
New York City Department of Education 

NYC DOE: Summer Reading

June 2020 

Dear Families, 

Summer reading is so important to keep learning going and to let imaginations run free! We are thrilled to make more e-books and audiobooks for all ages available for free this summer to all DOE families, and it’s easier than ever to access them. Please read on for more information, and visit for additional details to be posted on Monday, June 29. 

Reading with Sora

The e-book reader Sora has a diverse set of hundreds of resources available for grades 3K-12 in a multiple languages to help students see themselves and fellow students in the books they are reading. You can download an app to your device or access them via a web browser. All you have to do is log in with your student’s DOE ID; no additional sign up is necessary. Please visit to get started. 

Need help finding your student’s DOE login? Click here. If you received an iPad from DOE, it will have the Sora app automatically installed by July 1! 

You may also visit to access additional e-book titles and databases provided by the New York City School Library System. To access e-books from any location and databases from outside of New York State, please email for the username and password. 

Please note that while some of these resources might only be available in English, we will continue to strive to make more resources available in home languages. 

Take Advantage of Public Library Resources, Too! 

New York City public library systems are also providing digital resources and free access to the tutoring platform Brainfuse through internet-enabled devices, including all DOE-issued iPads. 

  • Brooklyn Public Library. To obtain a Brooklyn Public Library eCard, fill out the form at
  • The New York Public Library serving the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. To obtain a New York Public Library digital card through the free SimplyE app, please visit
  • Queens Public Library. To obtain a Queens Public Library eCard, fill out the form at

Wishing you a summer full of reading! 

Warm regards, 

Linda Chen 
Chief Academic Officer 

135 Town Hall Meeting

Parent Meeting Online

  • NYC School Accounts
  • Report Cards

Hakeem Mir is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 135 Town Hall Meeting
Time: Jun 26, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 937 9521 2208
Password: 736862
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Interactive Drumming Programs

Check out our VIDEO for more info
Musical IQ has both one-time and weekly offerings. In these programs, we will be exploring music from around the world, incorporating geography, history, culture and life skills.Our destinations include Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico & More! In each program, the facilitator introduces an indigenous instrument from the country visited, and the participants will get to learn one of the culture’s unique rhythms.Getting Creative With Found-Sound!This program is interactive and hands-on! With our new virtual offering, participants will be exploring their own creativity using “Found-Sound” household items as instruments, in place of the djembe drums we bring into schools. We are also proud to offer socially-distanced programs to suit your specific camps’ needs.Learn More Here about Our Full Curriculum and Offering

Free Technology Summer Programs

Free Technology Summer Programs by AOT + YDC
America On Tech (AOT) and Youth Design Center (YDC) (formerly Made in Brownsville) recently announced its partnership to bring free technology education to youth in East New York and Brownsville, Brooklyn. Through this strategic partnership, AOT and YDC will come together to run a series of programs for middle school and high school students between the ages of 12-19 years old. 
The 2, 1-week summer technology camps will cover the fundamentals of web design and development. Each of the 40 participants who are selected for the program will receive technical training and a stipend of $400 for their participation and completion of the program. The 10 virtual workshops are free and open to the public. The series will cover both topics in web development and sections on UX design and digital media podcasting. 

For students who are interested in applying to the 1-week Summer Tech Camps, they can find more information here and submit an application directly here.

For those interested in registering for the Virtual Tech Workshops, you can find more information here and register directly here.

Best, Jessica Santana

Jessica Santana
Chief Executive Officer
America On Tech, Inc.

NYC Health: Poison Prevention Newsletter

Poison Prevention Newsletter June 2020 

About Us
The NYC Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for treatment advice about exposures to poisons, plants, medicines or questions about medicine safety. Pharmacists and nurses certified in poison information are there to give advice. All calls are free and confidential. Translator services are provided in more than 150 languages. 
Call: 212-POISONS (212-764-7667)
Contact Us 
Useful Links
– Visit our website.
–  Request free multilingual poison prevention and medicine safety materials.
Virtual WorkshopsPoison Prevention and Medicine Safety virtual workshops are available in English, Spanish and Chinese. To schedule a virtual presentation for parents, staff or older adults, please email me at
Online Training: Poison Prevention in the HomeAn online training has been developed to teach the key messages about poison prevention in the home. A certificate will be emailed after completion of the training and post-test. Access the training now!Right click on the image to save it to your computer.Poison Prevention NewsletterJune 2020Enjoy the outdoors while staying safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
In This Edition
* Poison Ivy
* Stay Safe While Gardening
* Use insect repellent safely
* Poison Ivy

Poison ivy can be found throughout NY state. The plant has three leaves. All parts of the plant cause an irritating rash on the skin from the oil contained in the plant. Burning the plant can result in breathing issues. Learn more about poison ivy here 
Stay Safe While Gardening Take steps to stay safe while gardening at home. Always use and store insecticides and herbicides safely and out of reach of children. Choose non-toxic plants for your home and always keep them up high and out of reach. Learn more about plant safety here 

Use Insect Repellent Safely It’s important to prevent mosquito bites whenever possible.  Always follow the directions on the label for proper use. Use an insect repellent that has active ingredients approved by the EPA and NY State.  Do not allow young children to apply insect repellent themselves.  Keep insect repellents out of reach of children. Insect repellents should not be applied to children under the age of 2 months. Do not spray insect repellent on the face—spray your hands and apply to the face avoiding the eyes and mouth. Learn more 

Elevate Education: Free Parent Webinar

Good Day!

Tomorrow we will host our final free parent webinar of the school year. I want to pass the information along so that you can share with the parents in your community.

Tomorrow’s Free Parent Webinar:

Wednesday, June 24: Video Game Addiction

4 PM English // 5 PM Spanish

English Webinar (4pm) –  Register here // Flyer

Spanish Webinar (5pm) –  Regístrate aquí // Flyer

Free Parent Resource Kit:

Our free Parent Resource Kit can be accessed here (, with materials in both English and Spanish. We hope that they will be of great benefit as we continue to update them.

Looking to 2020-2021:

We have enjoyed being able to sponsor District 29 meetings for Principals and Assistant Principals the past several years. I was curious to know how the meetings will change this coming year and if there will still be an opportunity to sponsor your meetings and share the work we’re doing in NYC schools.

The past five webinars:

May 20: Goal Setting and Motivation // Recording in English // Recording in Spanish

May 27: Memory and Focus // Recording in English // Recording in Spanish

June 3: Stress Management // Recording in English // Recording in Spanish

June 10: Overcoming Procrastination // Recording in English // Recording in Spanish

June 17: Using Technology for Productivity // Recording in English // Recording in Spanish




Video of our Remote Learning Platform

Video of our work in class

Sean Davis
Elevate Education